Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

8 articles on this Page




F-C"; THF "WESLEYAN CONFERENCE. The Wesleyan Conference began its annual session on Wed- nesday morning, the 26th ult., the last Wednesday in July," according to appointment, in the borough of Kingston-upon- Kull. This is the first time that the Conference has been held in that town, although it was formerly the scene of the occasional labours of both John and Charles Wesley, Mr. Fletcher, of I-ley, and other chief men among the fathers and founders of Methodism, and although the "societies" or churches there are numerous and wealthy. It was doubted by many of the leading men in the Conference, whether accommodation could ba afforded for so many ministers in the houses of the friends. With the kind assistance, however, of other denominations in place, that dicfnulty has been overcome; and at this mo- ment between four arid five hundred, Wesleyan ministers are domiciled, for a fortnight or three weeks* in the good town of Hull. Theplce of assembly ii, Great Thornton-street chapel. The business of the Conference began, as Usual, with the election of a President. this exalted functionary holds office, not merely during the sittings of the Conference, but p also during the ensuing year,- He is now styled, The Very Reverend the president.' The election has for some years been the subject of great contests between the Tory section of the ministers Slid their more liberal brethren. The contest was decided in favour of the former. It was announced that Dr. Newton would be put in nominaiton, who, though of the same party as Dr. Bunting, is more popular among his brethren, and more generally ac- ceptable to those of them who" differ from him. The Liberal candidate was the Rev. Joseph Fowler, a gentleman of high character, considerable talents, and very respectable attain- ments. Mr. Fowler has for some years distinguished himself, by his temperate and discreet, but firm and decided opposition to many parts of Dr. Bunting's policy, and possesses and de- serves the confidence of the party who have now recognised him as one of their chiefs. When the ballot was taken, there appeared, for Dr. Newton, 197 votes for Mr. Fowler, 83. The great majority for Mr. Fowler is accounted for by the fact, that when the ballot for the office of secretary (which is only se- cond in honour and importance to that of president) was taken, the votine was found to be as follows :— For the Rev. John Scott 8 „ „ John Farrar 56 „ lp John Hannah, D.D 71 „ „ Joseph Fowler ill It is evident from this distribution of the voting, that something like an understanding had been come to, that, if Dr. Newton were raised to the chair, Mr. Fowler should be placed at the desk; for Messrs. Scott, Farrar, and Hannah, are all highly honoured members of the Tory party; and had the votes di vided among them been given to any one of the three, Mri. Fowler would have been left in a considerable minority. Dr. Newton fills the chair a fourth time, an honour pre- viously conferred on no other man than Dr. Bunting. It was a point with his party to seize the earliest opportunity allowed by the rules of the connexion for paying him this high com- pliment. There exists, however, a strong feeling against these re-elections, The next business was the filling up of the vacancies, by death, in the hundred ministers who compose the legal Con- ference. These were seven, five of which were filled up ac- cording to seniority, and, two by nomination. The Tory party succeeded in both instances, The Rev. F. A. West, and the Rev, W. Barton, both highly respectable men, were the suc- cessful candidates. The Rev. Samuel Dunn, who, though one of the ablest, most diligent, and successful pastors and preachers in the body, is obnoxious to the majority of the legal hundred, was put in nomination by his friend Dr. Beaumont, but he was rejected. The five who were supplied in the order of seniority were, Rev. Messrs. William Beale, Corbett Cooke, Elijah Mor- gan, Joseph Cullen, and William Davis. The result of these ballots'having been declared, the newly- elected president and secretary ascended the platform upon which the dignitaries of the Conference are seated, when the latter shook hands cordially with the former,—a proceeding deemed very gratifying after what had transpired. The ex-president, the Rev. Samuel Jackson, was observed to be very much affected when handing over to his successor in the chair, what may be denominated the insignia of office, con- sisting of the conference seal, a small pocket Bible, lono- used by the venerable Wesley, and keys to certain chests,"which contain important documents. With deep feeling, and in a very touching manner, Mr. Jackson said,—" Dr. Newtan, as you have been constituted the president of this Conference by the free suffrages of your brethren, it is now my duty to deli- ver to you the Conference seal, which you will use as occasion :¡ may require. Next I hand to you the Bible used by the Rev. J. Wesley; by which custom I suppose is meant, that by this book you are tobe guided in all you do. Allow, me, Sir, to express my own personal satisfaction at your election. I have long known and loved you. I love you for your long attachment to Wesleyan Methodism. I hope God will long give you health of body and vigour of mind and that he will greatly bless you and your colleague in office." The newly-elected president, being seated in the chair, rose and said:—" I feel indeed the obligation you have laid on me in the distinguished situation in which you have, for the fourth time, placed me." Dr. Bunting thought that the Conference should take the earliest opportunity to present a loyal address to the Queen on the birth of a Princess, a motion which was unanimously agreed to. Thanks were voted to the ex-president, ex-secretary, and also to the sub-secretaries and letter-writers, who were re- appointed. The next question of interest that came before the Conference was the number of young ministers who, having been engaged four years in the ministry, had been, after examination at their district meetings, recommended to be received into what is called full connexion that is, into all the rights, privileges, and status of Wesleyan ministers. Of these there were 32. There were also between fifty and sixty candidates for the Wesleyan ministry accepted by the Conference, after they had been recommended in the, district meetings, and by a London committee appointed to re-examine those candidates who had satisfactorily passed an examination before the preachers of the A strict within which they reside. There had died, during the year, seventeen ministers in Great Britain, four in Ireland, and three missionaries. In Englandthe Rev. Messrs. Philip Jameson, Samuel Hope, Jas. Akerman, Lewis Lewis, Robert Smith, David Evans, John Overton, J. L. Brown, John Pickevant, Thomas Hayes, Zecha- riah Taft, William Clegg, Ralph Gibson, William Woolsey, William Pearson, and Thomas Walker. In Ireland—The Rev. Messrs. William Ritchey, William Starkey, John Deary, and Archibald Campbell. And on foreign stations-The" Rev. Messrs. John M'Kenny, Robert Lee, and James R. Westley. Including six of the Irish brethren, and two on missionary stations, twenty-seven ministers felt obliged, by affliction or the infirmities of advanced age, to cease from taking a circuit, or, in Wesleyan phraseology, to become supernumeraries." It will be gratifying, perhaps, to the members of the Inde- pendent body, to know that Dr. Beaumont took occasion, at the close of the foregoing proceedings, to notice the lamented death of that eminent minister, the Rev. Dr. Hamilton, on whom he pronounced a very high eulogy, to which the Con- ference cordially and feelingly responded. On Thursday evening, at half-past seven o'clock, the ad- journed education committee held a long and important sitting to discuss the question of the Normal-school establishment. Though the meeting was an open one to the friends of Wes- leyaneducation, yet it was so distinctly stated, that those who were not qf tqe committee were admitted on the understanding that the proceedings of the evening should not be given to the public except officially, that (writes one qf our correspondents) s) I feel myself in honour precluded from faking any report, however important the meeting was to the interests of Method- ism, and however interesting to the friends of education throughout the country. On Friday, the question, What alterations in circuits or ad- ditional preachers are needed? was asked. One of our corre- spondents writes:—" I am sorry to say that there are but few petitions for additional preachers this year; and that in some old circuity, such as Colne and Holmfirth, the embarrassed state Qf trade has almost cocrced them into the necessity of re- questing the Conference to, withdraw a minister, or else largely to help. them by a grant from the Contingent Fund. The ap- pointment of a Welsh preacher for our Welsh chapel in Lon- don is not tQ b,e continued, The pulpit is to be occupied by a Welsh student at Richmond. The business of the Friday morning session was unexpectedly suspended by the announcement fro 'ni the chair, that rebellion had broken out in the South of Ireland, and that the repre- sentatives from the Irish to the British Conference wished to obtain leave to return immediately to Ireland, as their families were in the midst of the disturbed districts. The Irish bre- thren took leave of the Conference immediately but one of our correspondents was informed in the course of the day, that, hav- ing subsequeutly received information which threw doubts upon the report of the rebellion haying broken out, they had delayed their departure. On Saturday morning, the Rev. Djr. Dixon, who has recently returned from a mission to, the United States and Canada, en- tered the. Conference amid the hearty cheers of his brethren. The warmest discussion by far which had yet occurred in the Conference, arose out of an application made by the secre- tiry, that the recent rule which requires the Liturgical service of the Church of England to be read at certain- official services of the Conference, be this year suspended, on the ground that the Hull Societies have never had the Liturgy introduced into any of their chapels, and that its introduction now would be injurious to the interests of Methodism, After a warm debate, from which it was very evident that there is a large party in Conference not favourable to this loaning towards the Church as by law established, the order of the day was carried. Dr. Beaumont immediately gave notice, that, before Conference closed, he should move the rescinding of the rule that, requires the. use of the Liturgical service on certain public occasion during ^he sittings of Conference, Not a. will rejoice if this point be carried, and this further evidence be given that, Wesleyan leanings to the political Church are on the wane Notice waft giveri of two inotwns for a futoe day, jmpus committees were appointed;' andf for the day, the$ the Conference closed" One of our correspondents writesi-11 We expect an interest- ing and animated session on Wednesday evening, the Secre- tary of the Conference having just aiinovtnced that the follow- ing subjects will then be consideredThe state of tho aux- iliary fund and the appointment of Secretaries to our Mis- sionary Society, of the House Governor at Richmond, and the Secretary to the Board of Education.—-Patriot.